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Human Rights Activists Call To Review Rights Of Foreigners In Belarus

Human rights activists have proposed to introduce a series of changes to the rights of foreigners and stateless persons in Belarus.

Migration, detention, expulsion of foreigners, annulment of a residence permit and other urgent issues.

Representatives of the local human rights organization Human Constanta made a number of proposals to amend the law “On the legal status of foreign citizens and stateless persons in the Republic of Belarus”.

What do they propose?

To exclude “the state unfavorable in terms of migration” definition from the Belarusian legislation.

The list of the disadvantaged countries is currently used as a basis for refusing to issue invitations and permanent residence permits to foreigners in Belarus.

To amend the legislation on the procedure for the expulsion of foreigners.

In particular, to establish a judicial procedure and exclude the possibility of expulsion before the expiry of the deadline established by law for appeal.

To establish a maximum period for the execution of decisions on expulsion, readmission of foreigners placed in temporary detention or isolation centers. These should also include maximum terms of detention of foreigners to establish their identity.

The activists believe the law should stipulate that expulsion, deportation, revocation of a residence permit is an extreme measure when there is a real threat to public safety.

The length of stay in the country, the presence of close relatives, including minor children, citizens of Belarus, cultural, social and economic ties should be taken into account.

For such people, human rights activists believe, alternative sanctions not related to expulsion or deportation should be designed.

Non-existent blacklist 

According to the activists, last year several citizens of Algeria and Yemen were denied an invitation to visit Belarus.

The decisions were explained by the fact that they come from “the states unfavorable in terms of migration.” The list is not public and has no explicit reflection in the law, thus the appeal is hampered or not possible.

The website of the Department of Citizenship and Migration indicates that in order to invite a guest from the “undesirebale countries”, one should provide proof of funds during his stay in Belarus.

Also, the Law on External Labor Migration reads that migrants from such countries may be denied work in Belarus. However, the list of disadvantaged states is not specified either.

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